Tag Archives: New Orleans

Toast of the Town: Grant Schexnider

13 Sep

Few places in the US hold our fascination like New Orleans does.  It’s heady dose of hard partying, spirituality and historic charm completely enchants us.  Chicago artist Grant Schexnider ‘s work addresses the iconography of New Orleans and the bayou with bold strokes and a seemingly carefree style, much like NOLA itself.

Sazaerac, oil on canvas, 36×36

Old Fashioned, oil on canvas, 36×36

You can practically hear the jazz horns, taste the andouille, feel the misquitos’ sting.  His palette is rich and warm, like the colors of the city’s weathered buildings and vibrant characters.

Blue Heron, oil on canvas, 20×20

Deliberately messy layers remind us of a city that doesn’t take itself too seriously in spite of its history of hardship.  The cheerful resilience of the people of New Orleans may be captured in the warmth of Schexnider’s palette.

Blue Shotgun, oil on canvas, 18×36

Shotgun 2b, oil on canvas

To see more of Grant Schexnider’s work, please visit his website.

All images are via the artist’s website and the website of his representing NOLA gallery, Gallery Orange.

Artsy Spot: Gallery Orange

22 Feb

In the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter, housed in a 200+ year old classic Creole building lives Gallery Orange, a contemporary fine art gallery whose vibe and vision match the freshness of its signature color.

Gallery Orange, New Orleans, exterior

If you’re a regular Artsy Forager reader, you’ve heard of Gallery Orange before.  I first found GO when I discovered the work of Sarah Ashley Longshore, which then led me to Gallery Orange, her exclusive representation in New Orleans.  I found gallery owner Tracy Geilbert’s aesthetic and taste to be quite similar to my own and have been happily watching her list of artists grow and work by those artists flying off the walls!  Tracy’s love of art and enthusiasm for original work is infectious, I’ve never seen a gallery promote their artists harder than she does!

Gallery Orange, New Orleans, interior with works by Sarah Ashley Longshore

Owner Tracy Geilbert was already selling art at a young age, making sketches of Duran Duran, photocopying them and selling the “prints” to her classmates. ( Ah, a fellow 80’s girl! )  Part Dutch and part British, Geilbert studied  art and eventually graduated from the Royal Academy of the Arts at The Hague.  Life would eventually take her to post-Katrina New Orleans and, after working for another high-end New Orleans gallery, heeded the call of her heart to open a space of her own.

Gallery Orange, interior, works by Guus Kemp

Gallery Orange, New Orleans, interior, works by Gigi Mills, Carlos Lopez and Jill Ricci

Starting in a tiny 600 square foot space, with only two artists on her roster, Tracy’s hard work and eye for unique talent led to the gallery’s current space on Royal Street where boutique galleries are springing up and blazing new trails on the New Orleans art scene.  Tracy brings her Dutch artistic sensibilities to the gallery, offering only exceptional original work ( no giclees here! ), creative energy galore and a bit of good humor thrown in.  Gallery Orange is all about serious art that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Gallery Orange, New Orleans, exterior

If you are in New Orleans or planning a visit, do not miss a trip to Gallery Orange!  Delightful, deliciousness awaits you!  You can see a list of upcoming shows at GO on their website— which is newly redesigned, make sure you check it out!

All images are courtesy of Gallery Orange.

C’est La Vie de la Nouvelle-Orléans

21 Feb

New Orleans is one of those places that is unlike any other.  It is unique in it’s history, traditions and way of life.  Artists of all kinds, writers, musicians, painters, are attracted to its vibrancy and joie de vivre.  In this most European of American cities, the arts are not just a weekend hobby of the 1%.  Creativity is an ingrained part of daily life.  Each day is touched by artists in some way.  And today, as the town celebrates the most New Orleansish day of Mardi Gras, I thought we’d explore NOLA through the eyes of its artists.

As I was thinking about what makes New Orleans such an extraordinary place, six characteristics kept coming to mind..


No doubt New Orleans is famous for its cuisine.. a bit French, a bit Southern.. totally deliciously unique.  Jambalaya, po’ boys, beignets, shrimp creole..  I would be perfectly happy to eat my way through the city!  Artist Carlos Lopez celebrates the simplicity and purity of New Orleans cuisine in his still lifes of oysters found in the city’s gulf waters.

Southern Trio With Lemon, oil on canvas, 36x24 ( via Gallery Orange )


New Orleans Jazz is the soundtrack for the Delta.  The horns, the banjo, the bass.. you can’t help but tap your feet.  NOLA artists George Schmidt and Frank Kelley, jr., capture the energy that flows from the melodious sounds of Dixieland jazz.  Though currently living in Florida, artist Yvonne Lozano’s Delta roots still show through.

NOLA by Yvonne Lozano, mixed media on canvas, 24x36

Buddy Bolden's Nervous Breakdown from A History of New Orleans Jazz series by George Schmidt, oil on canvas

A Jazz Extravaganza by Frank Kelley, jr., limited edition lithography, 18x15


The city’s architecture reflects the diversity of its history and inhabitants.. from grand antebellum mansions to the European-influenced ironwork of the French Quarter to humble shotgun houses, each illustrates a facet of the city’s rich culture and history.  And, of course, each has been a source of inspiration for artists such as Grant Schexnider, whose Shotgun Series celebrates the spiritual wealth found in these humble abodes.

Skinny Shotgun 1 by Grant Schexnider, oil on canvas, 18x36


New Orleanians have a style all their own.  Unfailingly friendly and hospitable, but direct and unafraid to tell it like it is.  But always with charm and high style.  The stylishly cheeky work of NOLA artist Sarah Ashley Longshore fits the city like beads on Mardi Gras.

Audrey in Orange by Sarah Ashley Longshore, acrylic on canvas with high gloss resing, 30x30 ( via Gallery Orange )


Joyful.  Exuberant.  Even in the face of darkness and destruction, every day in New Orleans is a celebration of life.  Ally Burguieres’ work shines brightly with the fire of the people of New Orleans.

Moonrise on Bourbon by Ally Burguieres, oil and acrylic on wood, 36x18


The final and most enduring characteristic of New Orleans is the strength of its community and culture.  Poverty, disease, disaster, destruction.  The city has seen it all, yet through each trial, comes out on the other end that much stronger.  Cory Willingham’s work explores the inner strength found when a community is called upon to rebuild.

Almost Home ( diptych ) by Cory Willingham, acrylic and wallpaper on canvas, 24x30 each

New Orleans isn’t just party central at Mardi Gras.  It is a community filled with artists who are serious about preserving the city’s history and not just persevering, but thriving into the city’s future.  It is a city that loves its artists and they return that devotion a hundredfold.  We’ll continue the NOLA love tomorrow, when Artsy Forager features a NOLA gallery bringing a fresh and contemporary, yet uniquely New Orleans style to the French Quarter!

All images are via the artist’s websites linked above, unless otherwise indicated.  Images by Carlos Lopez and Sarah Ashley Longshore are via Gallery Orange.

Caution: This Art May Induce Happiness

6 Dec

There seems to be a pervasive thought in the art world that in order for work to be “serious”, it must be dark, introspective, moody.  And while I do enjoy some deep cynicism and social commentary as much as the next art lover, there is some work that I love simply for its joyfulness and frivolity.  Enter New Orleans artist Ally Burguieres.

Elephant With Blue Banklet, oil and acrylic on canvas, 24x18

Ally’s work is filled with the characteristic joie de vivre of the famous city she calls home.  Full of festive color, riotous movement and fanciful motifs, these are paintings that dance and sing.

Bamboo Pond, acrylic on canvas, 60x48

Each work is brimming with energy, like little canvas hummingbirds.  Your eye flits from one delight to another.  What can I say, they make me smile.  And while I love work that makes me think deep thoughts, sometimes, I just want to grin with joy.  Any designers or art consultants reading, her work would be fantastic in healthcare settings ( pediatrics, especially! ), restaurants or homes with a whimsical flair.  *hint hint*

Fishbowl, oil and acrylic on canvas, 24x18

Cats in a Boat, acrylic on canvas 24x18

Did Ally’s work make you smile, too?  If it did, mosey on over to her website and have a grand ol’ time.  If you’re in NOLA, be sure to stop by her gallery  at 736 Royal Street.  She’ll also be showing at C’est La Vie, a new French bistro on Magazine Street all through December.  AND you’ll be able to see her work in a National Geographic IMAX feature, “Hidden Worlds” coming to an IMAX theater near you in 2012!

Oh and Ally is also having a print sale for the holidays!  Her paper prints are BUY TWO GET ONE FREE for the holiday season.  You could knock out three gifts, lickety-split!

All images are via the artist’s website.

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